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Answers (6)

Points Strategy

Points Strategy

  1. Anonymous

    Hi OMAAT,

    A vast majority of my redemptions are for flights to India from the US usually IAH.
    Recently I’ve had some challenges with award availability on IAH-DEL routes.
    With an average spend of about 15-20k per month, what credit card(s) would you suggest factoring in award space & yearly points accrual?

    Thanks!

  2. David W

    IAH is a UA hub so I’d recommend Chase’s United cards when the bonus is good as well as the usual Chase Ink cards and Sapphire, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited cards, which all transfer to United, giving you access to Star Alliance airlines.

    However, Amex and Citi cards are also great options with transferable points currencies. Is the a particular airline you like to fly most? Amex and Citi both transfer to Etihad though they dont serve IAH.

  3. PhatMiles

    In addition to what [USER=29]@David W[/USER] said, I would also consider AA cards and SPG. QR has IAH-DOH-DEL and the availability is decent on that route. Using AA miles, that is achievable.
    At one point of time, getting Chase cards will be tough because of the 5/24 rule.
    If you never had chase cards start off with them.

    If Star Alliance is your best bet I would focus more on chase.

    15-20K is a really healthy spend for accruing miles.
    Is there a category you spend the most ? (Like office stores, grocery, gas, etc?)
    Least possible, if you have the chase freedom unlimited paired with a premium card like Sapphire or Ink, you are looking at 25K United miles (1.5 miles per dollar) per month which is no joke.

  4. G Singh

    Sorry forgot to mention this earlier, I’d like redemptions in J if not F; although F awards have started to require too many more miles than J comparatively. In the past I used the Citi AA card since redemption rates were low (62.5k for J and not 70k which still isn’t bad)

    I’m open to flying any combination of airlines but
    [USER=29]@David W[/USER]
    I wouldn’t consider transferring to Etihad since those seats can be had with AAdvantage for much less miles and no fuel surcharges.

    [USER=522]@PhatMiles[/USER] I’m considering the SPG but what would be good airlines. In the past QR J awards were plentiful but recently I’ve had trouble with availability so wanted feedback for options.
    99% of my spend is non-bonused at wholesalers. Can you explain how the 1.5 miles per dollar is achieved with the two cards? I already have the Ink Premium rewards but that’s 1 miles per dollar.

  5. PhatMiles

    [QUOTE=”G Singh, post: 19676, member: 2195″]Sorry forgot to mention this earlier, I’d like redemptions in J if not F; although F awards have started to require too many more miles than J comparatively. In the past I used the Citi AA card since redemption rates were low (62.5k for J and not 70k which still isn’t bad)

    I’m open to flying any combination of airlines but
    [USER=29]@David W[/USER]
    I wouldn’t consider transferring to Etihad since those seats can be had with AAdvantage for much less miles and no fuel surcharges.

    [USER=522]@PhatMiles[/USER] I’m considering the SPG but what would be good airlines. In the past QR J awards were plentiful but recently I’ve had trouble with availability so wanted feedback for options.
    99% of my spend is non-bonused at wholesalers. Can you explain how the 1.5 miles per dollar is achieved with the two cards? I already have the Ink Premium rewards but that’s 1 miles per dollar.[/QUOTE]
    The Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as 1.5% cash back. However, it earns Ultimate Rewards that can be combined with the ones you earn through INK.
    I am aware of Chase Ink Bold/Plus/Cash cards. I am not familiar with the Ink Premium rewards.
    Basically, you will need a premium card like Chase Sapphire Preferred or one from the Ink family (not the Ink Cash) that earns transferable points rather than just cash back.

    For the SPG Card – AA or Alaska are good transfer partners. Redemptions in J are still reasonable. With Alaska you can aim for Emirates. With AA, you can try QR. With UA Miles, you can do many star alliance routes connecting via MUC/FRA/LHR/IST. If you are willing to do Air India, the options are further more.

  6. G Singh

    Thanks [USER=522]@PhatMiles[/USER] for the explanation. I didn’t know that could be done. I need to get a Freedom unlimited ASAP.
    Sorry I should’ve said the Ink Plus. The Chase website said premium rewards when I checked to make sure I had the name correct.

    I wasn’t aware that AA was a permanent SPG transfer partner.
    Assuming availability is available the following spend would get me one seat on each:
    $53k on Chase freedom Unlimited
    $56k on SPG for AA
    $50k on SPG for AS
    These are assuming the full 25k for 20k bonus on all SPG transfers.
    Originally I wanted to move away from the Chase ink due to the combination of 1 mile per dollar and more expensive (in terms of miles) awards on UA but with 1.5 mile per dollar I think I might just increase my UR balance for a while now.

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